Don't worry about it, Howard. I think it's pretty cool and a good thing. It was just a general musing on it "philosophically."
I wasn't talking about it in terms of replacing pixel art either, but the two different approaches of how 3d can function and integrate for pixel art.
I want to know anything that stands out as needing improvement. Anything that looks off.
Baring some minor adjustment, I think you got it pretty much as good as it can get -- which is good enough for your purpose. It looks pretty cool.
If you don't mind me musing some more, about the fundamental problems of rendering to pixel art, which may focus more on what improvement is reasonable to expect and search for:
What you do is realistic rendering of pixel art. This can be pretty convenient to short cut some of the more tedious aspects of pixel art in a certain style.
There are simple basic rules to realistic rendering, which is applied wholesome to the image by the code.
In addition this can be somewhat adapted partially on a more or less random basis.
What gives a piece an impresssion of pixel art most however is, as I called it, artistic rendering.
And that means a conscious aesthetic decision on each pixel, that may derive from different rules, or even spite rules.
This is the heart of the problem. The human sense, reasonable or emotional, of the pixel.
Whatever further correction you attempt to do programmatically, will look okay in some place, and senseless in another, because it doesn't actually understand what it tries to render, and what it tries to convey in that to the audience. The pixel pattern rendering problem is somewhat akin to the "what's the best palette" discussion, even much worse a problem actually.
In addition, this pixel art is produced in a very typical fashion, to be this smooth. Which will inspire pixel artists to create counter-trends of increasingly ideosyncratic and unrealistic rendering techniques that have their own appeal. This means a further divergence in pixel design that increases the differentiation in impression from 3d application, making that look ever so more different from pixel art, uncanny pixel art, and in its own way limited as pixel art, even though paradoxically it was made in an attempt to push certain limits of pixel art in its strife to look like pixel art. That too is part of the art, finding new ways of expression and differentiating itself from other artforms, searching for a recognition, coherence and self-reliance as its own artform. Interesting enough, your success in automating palette application, rather makes me question further if colour limit palette orientation really is at the relevant heart of pixel art, and so as a pixel artist I'd be tempted to depart from that in response, to find my own way, maybe accelerated by how popular your approach turns out to be.
Still, despite these musings, what you do is very much interesting and worthwhile, and pixel artists will find ways to take assisted advantage of it for their own practical purpose in some form or another as suits them. I very much look forward seeing your game looking like this.